There’s no street “more touching in its struggle to make some harmony out of so many contrasts” as Victoriei Avenue, says Gheorghe Crutzescu in his „Podul Mogoşoaiei. Povestea unei străzi” [Mogoşoaia Bridge. A Street’s Story]. “It’s a coffee shop and a salon, a public walk and a flower market, a tribune and a shop window”,* it’s a palace and a garden, it’s a sky-scraper and an inter-war building. It’s an unfinished project, in continuous search for, and construction of, the identity of the city of Bucharest. We get a glimpse of this rustle at almost each and every corner, and the junction between Banului Street and Victoriei Avenue is one of the most relevant and illustrative thereof. Approaching it from the south, the tall screens composed by the buildings flanking Victoriei Avenue have the honour of meeting Știrbey Palace. One of those building looking down on both the avenue and the palace is the one at number 128A.
Occupying the site of an old boyars’ house which stood there at the beginning of the 20th century,** it pushes skywards the upper limit of the built matter. It unfolds on seven storeys, allowing the ground floor to offer itself naturally for commercial purposes. The volumes’ rigorous composition is symmetrical, of monumental and massive affiliation. Central vertical elements, broken and slightly withdrawn half-way up, are counterweighted by the horizontality of the balconies seeming to clasp the central body. Balconies and terraces openings, today partially closed by the ulterior glass surfaces, counterbalance the solid contents and, provided with depth, the front is perceived as continuous and undifferentiated.
Andreea Mihaela Chircă
*Gheorghe Crutzescu, Podul Mogoşoaiei. Povestea unei străzi [Mogoşoaia Bridge. A Street’s Story]. Humanitas: Bucharest, 2014, p. 29.
** Crutzescu, p. 215.